Across cultures, dining as a family or with friends is an important aspect of social life. Along with it comes the concept of table manners — etiquette rules that help you understand how to behave at the dining table, how to use utensils, where to sit and even your body language.
Within your own culture, you may understand what are the rules of dining etiquette but they can vary depending on where you are. To help you be savvy at cross-cultural dining etiquette, here are some rules to highlight:
- In China and Japan, don’t leave your chopsticks upright in the middle of your rice bowl as this invokes images of joss-sticks used at funerals. Also don’t use them to point at people or to pierce food.
- In Japan, it’s not rude to slurp your noodles — in fact it’s considered evidence that you enjoy the meal.
- In Thailand, don’t put food (especially rice) in your mouth with a fork. Use it to push food onto your spoon instead.
Find out more here.
Alicia Lui is a co-founder at Prep Beijing!, a coaching company focusing on core soft skills such as effective communication, social and emotional skills, etiquette, critical thinking and leadership skills. Prior to founding Prep Beijing! She has worked in management consulting and in banking. She holds and MBA from INSEAD and Bachelor’s from University of Chicago
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons